2045. Shall be circumcised unto you. That this signifies purification, is evident from the representation and signification of "circumcision," as being purification from filthy loves (explained above, n. 2039). They who are in the loves of self and of the world cannot possibly believe that they are in things so filthy and unclean as they actually are in, for there is a certain pleasure and delight that soothes, favors, and allures, and causes them to love that life, to prefer it to all other life, and thereby to suppose that there is nothing of evil in it; for whatever favors anyone's love and the life thence derived is believed to be good. Hence also the rational consents, and suggests falsities which confirm and cause such blindness that they see nothing of the nature of heavenly love; and if they were to see it they would say in their hearts that it is a wretched affair, or a thing of naught, or something of the nature of a phantasy that takes hold of the mind, as in sickness.
 But that the life of the love of self and of the world, together with its pleasures and delights, is filthy and unclean, may be seen by everyone who is willing to think from the rational faculty with which he is gifted. The love of self is the source of all the evils that destroy civic society. From it as from an unclean pit spring all hatreds, all revenges, all cruelties, nay, all adulteries; for he who loves himself, despises, vituperates, or hates, all others who do not serve him, or do him honor, or favor him; and when he hates, he breathes nothing but revenges and cruelties, and this in proportion to the degree in which he loves himself, so that this love is destructive of society and of the human race. (That such is its nature may be seen also from what is said of it in Part First, n. 693, 694, 760, 1307, 1308, 1321, 1506, 1594, 1691, 1862.) That in the other life the love of self is most filthy, and that it is diametrically opposite to the mutual love in which heaven consists, shall of the Lord's Divine mercy be told in what follows.
 And as the love of self is the source of hatreds, revenges, cruelties, and adulteries, it is the source of all things that are called sins, wickednesses, abominations, and profanations, and therefore when this love is in the rational part of man, and is in the cupidities and phantasies of his external man, the influx of heavenly love from the Lord is continually repelled, perverted, and contaminated. It is like foul excrement, which dissipates, nay, defiles, all sweet odor; it is like an object that turns the continually inflowing rays of light into dark and repulsive colors; and it is like a tiger, or a serpent, which repels all fondling, and kills with bite and poison those who offer it food; or like a vicious man who turns even the best intentions of others, and their very kindnesses, into what is blameworthy and malicious. Hence it is evident that these loves-of self and of the world-are what are represented and signified by the foreskins that were to be cut off.